Nectar Gaze and Poison Breath

Nectar Gaze and Poison Breath : An Analysis and Translation of the Rajasthani Oral Narrative of Devnarayan

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This book offers a detailed study of the Devnarayan ki par, along with the first English translation of this well-known Rajasthani oral narrative. The tale of the god Devnarayan is performed by itinerant singer-priests during night-wakes in front of a very large painted scroll depicting characters and scenes from the story. It is the focus of one of the most popular folk cults of the Rajasthan region of India. Aditya Malik uses the narrative to explore a range of questions relevant to the study of Indian folk culture and Hinduism as a whole: How is orality conceptualized and practiced? What is the relationship between spoken and visual signs? How are ideas about religion, society, and history envisioned within the framework of the narrative? Malik argues that to understand ideas of history in Indian cultural contexts we must go to oral narratives, epics, regional tellings, and local knowledge. By making the Narrative of Devnarayan available in English, he provides an important resource for that more

Product details

  • Hardback | 576 pages
  • 157.5 x 238.8 x 40.6mm | 929.88g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • numerous halftones; 1 map
  • 0195150198
  • 9780195150193

About Aditya Malik

Aditya Malik is Senior Lecturer and Programme Director of Religious Studies at the University of Canterbury in New more

Review quote

Aditya Malik's new work on the Devnarayan epic of Rajasthan provides valuable access in English to an important oral and print tradition of Western India and a comprehensive introduction to related scholarly issues ... This field of research does not often see new additions, so a work of this kind and scope is particularly welcome. The translations are beautifully rendered ... This work makes a significant contribution to the study of oral narrative in South Asia and in comparative contexts, to a broader discourse on the representation of history and the past within South Asian intellectual and cultural traditions, to the larger study of folk and popular religious traditions, and to the crucial interaction between oral and written texts and performance Aditya Malik's meticulous and sensitive study of the Rajasthani Devnarayan epic opens up a world of surpassing richness. The sung epic text, hitherto unstudied, is one of the most colorful and imaginative known to us from South Asia. Malik interpretsshow more